Association of cognitive function and risk for elder abuse in a community-dwelling population

Xinqi Dong*, Melissa Simon, Kumar Rajan, Denis A. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Aim: This study aimed to examine the cross-sectional association between cognitive function and elder abuse. Methods: The Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) is a population-based study conducted in a geographically defined community (n = 8,932). We identified 238 CHAP participants who had elder abuse reported to a social services agency. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (perceptual speed), and both immediate and delayed recall of the East Boston Memory Test (episodic memory). An index of global cognitive function scores was derived by averaging the z-scores of all tests. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association of cognitive function domains and risk of elder abuse. Results: After adjusting for confounders, lowest tertiles of global cognition (odd's ratio, OR 4.18, 95% confidence interval, 95% CI 2.44-7.15), MMSE (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.93-4.57), episodic memory (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.49-3.43) and perceptual speed (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.51-3.73) were associated with increased risk of elder abuse. The lowest levels of global cognitive function were associated with an increased risk of physical abuse (OR 3.56, 95% CI 1.08-11.67), emotional abuse (OR 3.02, 95% CI 1.41-6.44), caregiver neglect (OR 6.24, 95% CI 2.68-14.54), and financial exploitation (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.88-7.32). Conclusion: Lower levels of global cognitive function, MMSE, episodic memory and perceptual speed are associated with an increased risk of elder abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Cognitive function
  • Elder abuse
  • Mini-Mental State Examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of cognitive function and risk for elder abuse in a community-dwelling population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this